Promoting Physical Activity

Promoting Physical Activity
We ensure that children in our care are supported and encouraged to engage in physical, active play, develop fundamental movement skills and limit sedentary time in line with current recommendations and the requirements of the EYFS.

At Woodlands, we have introduced the PANCo role (Physical Activity and Nutrition Coordinator) it is a national and local initiative to help promote physical activity and nutrition in babies and children.  The PANCo will be a positive role model to children/parents, carers and colleagues in promoting healthy lifestyle choices and will keep up to date on information, giving guidance on nutrition and physical activity. We have one member of staff who is a qualified PANCo, Cheryl. Cheryl is happy to discuss any queries around physical activity or nutrition with you.

 Benefits of active play 

The UK Chief Medical Officers have bought in guidelines for children aged birth-5years to aim for at least 180 minutes of Physical Activity every day. The more the better!

In doing so it helps to…….
  • Build relationships and social skills
  • Maintain health and weight
  • Improve sleep
  • Develop muscles and bones
  • Contribute to brain development and learning
  • Encourage movement and co-ordination
  • Improve attention
  • Develop self confidence
  • Increase fitness
  • Build a healthy heart
Your child doesn’t have to be active for 3 hours solid, this can be spread throughout their day and be at various levels of intensity.  Parental support is vital in ensuring children reach the recommended level of physical activity. If possible, active travel to and from Woodlands can help contribute to this, make it as fun as possible, any movement counts!


Healthy Eating 

As a nation there are more and more children who are obese and more than one in five children are obese by the time they start school when they are 5. At woodlands we would like to encourage our children and families to have a healthy and varied lunch and our new policy supports this. 

We promote the importance of eating healthy foods and as such, have stopped some items in lunches as they do not offer any nutritional value to the children. The main area we have changed is “pudding” items. Everybody enjoys treat items/puddings from time to time and, in moderation, this is fine as part of a varied diet however we would not encourage the children to expect these items every day and not as part of a packed lunch.

A balanced, healthy lunch should include the following: starcy foods (bread, pitta bread, wraps, breadsticks, crackers, pasta, rice, cous cous etc), fruit and vegetables, proteins (lean meats, fish, eggs, meat alternatives), dairy foods (cheese, yoghurt) and drinks (water or diluted fruit juices/ smoothies). 

  • We are a nut free setting. Please do not provide any nut containing products such as peanut butter. 
  • We do not allow any sweets of chocolate items. This includes chocolate yoghurts, chocolate spread or chocolate cereal bars. 
  • We do not allow any cakes or biscuits.
  • Try to limit foods with high salt content like crisps. Rice cakes or breadsticks make a healthier alternatives. 
  • We do not allow parents to bring in sweets or cakes for birthdays. Instead we will celebrate your child's birthday in other ways. 
  • Please ensure small items are cut up as they are a choking hazard, this includes grapes, cherry tomatoes and other small foods. 
  • Please discuss any concerns you may have with our PANCO Cheryl, or our managers Sarah and Rachael. 

Lunchbox ideas:

  1. Cheese sandwich, cucumber sticks, rice cakes and satsuma
  2. Tuna pasta with sweetcorn and peppers, cherry tomatoes, apple and yoghurt
  3. Pitta bread and houmous, carrot sticks, banana and blueberries.
  4. Cous cous with a hardboiled egg, cucumber, grapes and yoghurt
  5. Wholemeal roll with ham and cheese spread, carrot and cucumber sticks, breadsticks and pear.


Oral Health
  • Good oral health for children:
  • Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
  • Parents or carers should brush the teeth.
  • Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) unless a dentist advises family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
  • Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Spit out after brushing and don't rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won't work as well.

How to help children brush their teeth properly:

  • Guide your child's hand so they can feel the correct movement.
  • Use a mirror to help your child see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth.
  • Make tooth brushing as fun as possible by using an egg timer to time it for about 2 minutes.
  • Don't let children run around with a toothbrush in their mouth, as they may have an accident and hurt themselves.
Borrow one of our Oral Health borrow bags for fun activities to help support your child's understanding. 


Guidance for parents 













The Woodands Pre-School
Church Street 
Clifton 
Bedfordshire 
SG17 5ES

Phone number (term-time only) 01462 811486